Monday, January 08, 2007

Don't Choke On The Damn Baby

I'm slowly and laboriously hoisting myself up from the bottomless depths of the Big Ick today. This morning my designated driver and I managed a leisurely stroll over to the neighborhood grocery store where I purchased a jar of glutamine powder to help combat the evil neuropathy.

And damned if they weren't playing Mardi Gras music! Mardi Gras season officially opened on January 6th here, and they already had a big table full of fresh baked king cakes at the entrance to the store. This cheered me immeasurably, as I love Mardi Gras with the unabated fervor of a convert (even though I always get the damn baby).

Mardi Gras: One more great reason to live. Onward!


Ah, the seldom sung pleasure of wind on the scalp

8 Comments:

Anonymous di_in_wi said...

Glad to hear you're climbing out of the big ick! I'm glad you linked to the king cake info because I would have never understood "choking on the baby" without it.

Mardi Gras! I had to look and see when it is. Won't be long now :)

Your friend in Wisconsin, di_in_wi

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Pony said...

That's lovely Liz. What are you wearing? Something you knit maybe, draped over your shoulders.

Dixie Rae seems to taking the whole thing rather well.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

I loved your post-Katrina Mardi Gras piece. You wrote about the necessity to dance and to celebrate in spite of, and because of, the hardships that Louisiana had just faced.

If you have a chance, and feel so inclined, could you re-post that essay?

I love this picture. The shadow on your temple looks like a peace sign. How appropriate. May you have many, many more years of peace and joy.

11:04 PM  
Blogger Lymphopo said...

Thanks Rose. Although I seem to have spun off in a violent pique a few months back when some asswig commenter had the gall to call my son a "whimp" [sic] and in the process nuked my former blog, relegating old posts to the dusty corners of fickle memory, it just so happens I still have a record of that one. It was posted on Ash Wednesday, the day after MG:

Welcome Back To Reality

So today we’re experiencing the world’s most pathological mood swing, in which our entire bipolar culture tumbles like an avalanche from the highest peaks of exuberant Mardi Gras mania, crashing violently into the deep depressive hungover gloom of Ash Wednesday and Lent.

For the past month or so, we’ve been working ourselves into a frenzy of anticipation over our beloved annual Mardi Gras celebration. Friends and family members who’ve been forced to move far away from our disastrous economy to find a decent livelihood, or to seek refuge from the recent storms, came back home for a few days, or maybe even a whole month. Joyful family reunions are an integral part of the seasonal revelry. But we also welcome total strangers and newcomers from distant places. The more the merrier when it comes to the king cake parties and costume balls, the krewes and parades, the courirs and trail rides, the music and dancing, the boucheries and crawfish boils.

For a few happy weeks we wrapped ourselves in the comforting blanket of happy old traditions and communal camaraderie. We took a breather from worrying about our most wrenching troubles. Sometimes, perhaps with a little help from alcohol or loud music, we were able to let ourselves temporarily block out the pile of bills on the kitchen table that we won’t be able to pay; the rumors of extensive new layoffs at work; the strange lump or growth we’ve been ignoring because we’re afraid it might be cancer and we don’t have health insurance; the kid or sibling or lover who was deployed to Iraq. For just a little while, we forgot about everything bad and had ourselves the mother of all big happy group hugs.

We know that the rest of the country doesn’t really understand our obsession with Mardi Gras. Mostly they just know about the stereotypes and sound bites that come out of New Orleans: the flashing tits, the crushing crowds, the wild drunk frat boys, the endless sidewalk puking. Most people only see the wanton excess and puerile debauchery; if they’re even aware of the date, they dismiss it as a distasteful tourist trap. I’ve come across some outcry recently from pundits who were scandalized that we insisted on cavorting in cacophonous frivolity down here during our time of post-Katrina crisis. But insist we do. And deep in our hearts we understand why: the harder the life, the bigger the party.

But now the Mardi Gras fun is over. Today we dragged our bleary selves out of bed at the crack of dawn and once again heaved our shoulders against Sisyphan reality. We went back to our soul crushing jobs toiling in rice mills and shrimp canneries, on oil rigs or at the Wal-Mart. We’re back to mowing lawns, tarring roofs, flipping burgers, digging coulees in the hot sun–whatever it takes to eke out a living in a harsh climate, a depressed economy, an oppressive society.

The bills and the bad news waited faithfully, just like we knew they would.


*****

[Did you notice that phrase "the strange lump or growth we’ve been ignoring because we’re afraid it might be cancer and we don’t have health insurance"? Uh-huh. Me too.]

11:48 PM  
Blogger Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Yes I noticed that phrase. Not being up to date here did you know last Ash Wednesday?

I have to ask too, are you originally a true Southern Belle raised in Louisiana?

12:11 AM  
Blogger Lymphopo said...

I was born in Atlanta and moved to Jacksonville when I was 8, and my family was southern going all the way back to Fred and Wilma O'Hara. So I guess that technically makes me a southerner, though frankly I fled the damn south as soon as I could reach the doorknob.

But you know there really aren't too many traditional southern belles around this part of LA. The Cajun and Creole women here, like me, are more inclined to fight and cuss and spit and shoot and build a generator out of a broken tractor, some duct tape, and a couple of bobby pins than to bat their eyelashes at anybody. And nobody around here drinks mint juleps, either, unless it happens to be the flavor of the week down at the drive-thru daiquiri sno-cone stand.

12:28 AM  
Blogger Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

When a southerner asks you if you are a true Southern Belle the spittin' and cussin' is a given in the title. Eyelash batting is a tool that may come in handy for building a generator under certain circumstances.

I was just trying to ascertain if the South is encoded in your DNA or you are an excellent observationist or both.

Gainesville Florida is where I spent my formative years until I fled.

12:47 AM  
Blogger Alto2 said...

Laissez les bontemps roulez, babe! And don't choke on the baby.

2:22 PM  

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